I have been playing with different things to get 5-star reviews, I've noticed it is not only a matter of having a top-notch listing.
These are the 5 things that have worked for me during the last 7 years I've been a Superhost:
I hope you find these useful!
Hi great points. Thanks
I own and manage multiple properties. I Have found especially now during Covid everyone is tense. Over communicate and take the extra time to ensure your place is ultra clean. A little issue today is magnified. I pay cleaners a little extra to ensure they do not rush. It pays back in spades. Be well
that's very nice of you! In general, I recommend not opting for the budget cleaners and their job is so crucial to a successful Airbnb that I think you're doing the right thing!
While I think most of your list is simply what most good hosts tend to do anyway, having nothing to do with it being for the 5 star review, but with doing whatever we have undertaken well, I completely disagree with the following:
"And do not downplay their concerns or complaints. I would even recommend you make them seem bigger..."
100% NO. If a host makes what is really a minor issue seem like a huge inconvenience, the guest will see it like that as well. I would advise the exact opposite. Of course a host needs to address issues promptly and show concern, but going overboard with apologies or acting as if the guest being without hot water for an hour is some major deal just encourages guests to expect or demand refunds for normal things that can go on the blink at anytime for anyone.
"...send a message through Airbnb to the guest thanking them for leaving the place in good shape (no matter what shape they actually left it in). I also let them know that I intend on leaving them a good review, that way I set the benchmark for our review exchange."
NO. Why would you think a guest for leaving it clean when they didn't? That is terrible advice. All you are doing is giving the guest the notion that they can walk away leaving a huge mess behind them so they think this is acceptable behavior. Which they will go on to do to another host.
And telling a guest you plan to leave them a good review, especially if they don't deserve one, is a form of extortion. Reviews are supposed to be honest and they are blind for a reason. Your suggestion leads to dishonest reviews. In which case the reviews are pointless.
haha, just remember you've not found the only methods that work. But thanks for the comment. Future readers can make the decision based on our two viewpoints.
However, with point #5, it makes no difference how the guest left your home (unless you plan to do a resolution request). So, might as well thank them, right, especially if it increases the chance they leave you a review? My review rate is 90% (Airbnb average is 70%) and I attribute most of the success to that check-out message.
My review rate is about 90% also , and I've never sucked up to guests to get them to review or to leave me a good review. Nor do they get a check-out message.
What you are advocating here is exactly what Airbnb wants- hosts who treat guests as if they're minor gods, no matter how the guest behaves, because they are stressed out about reviews.
Ialso used to send a nice message to almost every guest after they left (except the horrible ones) kindly reminding them to leave a review, although I only occasionally mentioned I was going to leave them five stars (if I truly thought they were great).
Well, I stopped doing that at some point and my ratings actually went UP. percentage of reviews left went down, but everything else went up. I no longer encourage picky, entitled people to leave reviews. They either will or won’t and it’s no skin off my nose.
What I have also discovered is that badly behaved guests are LESS likely to leave a review. Many don’t understand that you can still leave one for them. Either that, or they just don’t want to prompt you to do so... some things are better left alone.
Conersely,if I feel very certain someone would leave a good review but has simply forgotten, I will message them before the deadline with a gentle reminder.
I agree with your review comments there, @Huma0 .. the majority of my guests do leave lovely reviews, and I don't push it when I have had less than adorable guests (which is happily quite rare).. because, likewise, they tend to be the ones that don't leave a review, or if they did, would go out of their way to find fault where none actually exists! And I feel that if I pushed them about it, they'd leave a lousy one just to spite me, so best left unsaid... I've heard one 'overly entitled' guest carry on at her boyfriend about what a s... bed it was and how she can't wait to sleep in her own bed again... and hey, in reality, this was about her hangover, not the near new bed that everyone else tells me they love, if they say anything at all... This girl didn't know I heard her comment, and she was one of the mere handful of less wonderful guests in my 5.5 years... was very noisy when she got back from a birthday party at 3am... I was very fortunate that people in the adjacent unit were family of the birthday girl, so more tolerant of this behaviour than total strangers would have been. This girl did not leave a review, although she assured me she would (without my asking) as they left. Her boyfriend is a Qantas pilot.... I sincerely believe (hope!) he is the one with the brains in that relationship!
On the other hand, one of the many more delightful couples who stayed recently, assured me they would be writing a lovely review, so I was surprised that the two weeks expired, and no review, although I had done one for them of course. He emailed me shortly after, profusely apologetic as he had started a new job and was very focussed on that for a while, but offered to do an email review that I could quote as a recent testimonial in my private website, as an alternative, which I really appreciated. They had also left beautiful comments in my guest book. This is what hosting is about, in my opinion: meeting lovely people (and in my case, often their lovely pets as well), making new friends, learning about interesting lives and travel experiences! The cranky ones tend to hide and not want to talk anyway, so that makes it easier, ha!
What an interesting experience it must be to stay in the home of such a hyperactive self-promoter. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a Kardashian's tampon....
And the reviews you leave for guests? They are exactly the kind of reviews I discount as useless, because you review every guest in exactly the same way- it appears that every guest you've had is "amazing" , every guest was perfect in every way. When a host does that, none of their reviews can be trusted.
You make a mockery of the purpose of the review system.